Unity started a firestorm off a week ago when they announced a poorly thought out and overreaching Unity Runtime Fee and to say that Unity developers didn’t like it would be a bit of an understatement. This was back on September 12th and finally on September 22nd they have announced a VASTLY different pricing structure.
Here is the open letter from Marc Whitten, head of the CREATE division at Unity:
To our community:
I’m Marc Whitten, and I lead Unity Create which includes the Unity engine and editor teams.
I want to start with simply this: I am sorry.
We should have spoken with more of you and we should have incorporated more of your feedback before announcing our new Runtime Fee policy. Our goal with this policy is to ensure we can continue to support you today and tomorrow, and keep deeply investing in our game engine.
You are what makes Unity great, and we know we need to listen, and work hard to earn your trust. We have heard your concerns, and we are making changes in the policy we announced to address them.
Our Unity Personal plan will remain free and there will be no Runtime Fee for games built on Unity Personal. We will be increasing the cap from $100,000 to $200,000 and we will remove the requirement to use the Made with Unity splash screen.
No game with less than $1 million in trailing 12-month revenue will be subject to the fee.
For those creators on Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise, we are also making changes based on your feedback.
The Runtime Fee policy will only apply beginning with the next LTS version of Unity shipping in 2024 and beyond. Your games that are currently shipped and the projects you are currently working on will not be included – unless you choose to upgrade them to this new version of Unity.
We will make sure that you can stay on the terms applicable for the version of Unity editor you are using – as long as you keep using that version.
For games that are subject to the runtime fee, we are giving you a choice of either a 2.5% revenue share or the calculated amount based on the number of new people engaging with your game each month. Both of these numbers are self-reported from data you already have available. You will always be billed the lesser amount.
We want to continue to build the best engine for creators. We truly love this industry and you are the reason why.
Further details of the new pricing are available here.
The TL;DR version of the changes:
- Personal tier is not affected and the logo has finally been removed as a requirement, while keeping the move to a $200,000 revenue limit
- The new runtime fee will only apply to FUTURE versions of Unity starting with Unity 2023 LTS
- The royalty is now a mix of self reported install data or a 2.5% royalty, whichever is lower
- EULA and ToS will be hardened to protect users of a certain version going forward
This is a MUCH better proposal that the original runtime fee, but it comes after Unity have done a massive amount of damage to their reputation. Let me know what you think of Unity’s new pricing structure in the video below.